No West Nile reported in Southern Oregon yet

Jackson County, Ore. — It’s that time of year again when mosquitoes are growing in numbers.

West Nile Virus has not hit Southern Oregon yet, but there have been reports of the virus in the Sacramento area of northern California.

While many people like to be outside at dawn and dusk in the summer, it’s important to be cautious of the blood-sucking insects.

“We collect mosquitoes each week, and test them for the disease so we will hopefully have an early-warning system for the public,” Biologist Jim Lunders said.

In addition to the itchy mark the blood-sucking insects leave behind they can also spread disease.

Biologist Jim Lunders with Jackson County Vector Control says the earliest we’d usually see West Nile Virus is mid-to-late July.

Mosquitoes that spread West Nile prefer hot, dry conditions.

While we can’t control that, Lunders says there are actions each person can take to have fewer mosquitoes in the area.

“Anything you can do around your home to eliminate water, or make sure that water isn’t producing mosquitoes will greatly help reduce the mosquito populations in your neighborhood,” Lunders said.

Mosquitoes breed in water that has been sitting for at least a week.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of items in your back yard that can collect water like a tire, or a pot.

You can even get free mosquito fish at Jackson County Vector Control to put in your pond, or a horse trough.

As the summer continues, the chance for West Nile increases.

But thankfully, not everyone bitten by an infected-mosquito will get sick.

And it’s only %1-3 percent of people infected with West Nile that will develop encephalitis or meningitis.

Jackson County Vector Control will be holding a free tire disposal event in mid-August to help people get rid of a source that often produces mosquitoes.

You can drop off your tires at 555 Mosquito Lane from August 16th to the 18th.

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